Electronic Transactions - A chance for the Isle of Man to embrace digital technology

Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce is pleased to share that the Department for Enterprise (DFE) has launched a consultation to modernise the Electronic Transactions Act 

This is a great opportunity now for individuals, businesses and organisations including the Chamber of Commerce to discuss changes that will help the Island’s businesses and residents.

Chamber Member MBS has kindly offered to deliver a workshop for Chamber Members wishing to learn more about this topic, which will be presented by Chris Corlett who is Head of Business Development with MBS and a Member of Chamber’s Legislation Group.

Click here to book (a £5 nominal fee is charged to cover administrative costs)

As the DFE says in the consultation:
“The Electronic Transactions Act was introduced in 2000, in order to encourage the use of electronic services in both the public and private sectors. However the legislation is complex and isn’t easy to understand. Other jurisdictions have put in place other measures, such as the EU’s Regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (eIDAS) system in the EU.”
Worldwide there has a dramatic increase in the use of Electronic Transactions, driven by the long-term trend to digital services which has been greatly accelerated by the impact of Covid. This requires clear laws and proven technology that protects organisations, consumers and citizens who need to sign documents electronically to buy products and services as well as access public services. This requires electronic signatures (eSignatures) and electronic identification (eID) of the signatory.
The European Union (EU) undertook an extensive consultation and developed comprehensive and now-proven legislation and regulations to do precisely this, named eIDAS (Electronic Identification and Trust Services). When the UK Brexited, it simply translated eIDAS into UK law. So eIDAS is a proven international standard recognised in the UK, Europe and beyond.

For more information on eIDAS, click here

The Isle of Man could adopt this legislation quickly at minimal cost and with little risk. Indeed, it would significantly reduce the risks that we all have due to the lack of clarity of the IOM’s Electronic Transactions Act which has not been changed since 2000. The law and technology worldwide for Electronic Transactions has changed enormously since then. The Isle of Man now has a chance to benefit from those advances to reduce costs, speed up service delivery and reduce risks.

The benefits can be both for:
1. the Island’s organisations and residents, helping us to access the products and services we need rapidly and securely and
2. the Island’s businesses which serve clients from across the world, helping them to win new business and grow our economy.

Re 1, these changes can enable currently complex, paper-based processes to be streamlined. For example, the UK Land Registry now accepts eSignatures (including for witnesses) on deeds such as for property purchases. They have seen a huge switch from paper and ink to eSignatures, speeding up the process significantly. This is not currently possible in the Isle of Man.

For more information on the UK Land Registry example, click here

Re 2., FATF (Financial Action Task Force) is the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog. In April 2020 the President of FATF stated: “FATF encourages the fullest use of responsible digital customer onboarding and delivery of digital financial services in light of social distancing measures.” So FATF is strongly encouraging governments and regulators to legislate, regulate and adopt eSignatures and eID due to the benefits they bring.

For more information on FATF’s recommendations, click here

In summary, this could be a quick win for the new Administration after the General Election. Therefore Chamber strongly encourages our Members and others in our community to respond to this consultation. The closing date is 29 October 2021.